ACT| The App Association executive director Morgan Reed issued the following statement in response to the FTC enforcement action against mobile app Snapchat.

ACT has been closely monitoring FTC’s enforcement of privacy violations in the mobile app ecosystem. It is good for the industry when consumers have confidence that their personal information is safe. Effective enforcement actions against bad actors provide a disincentive to bad behavior.

Snapchat was certainly guilty of sloppy coding and there was an obvious disconnect between its privacy policy and the information it collected and shared with others. This illustrates why it’s critical to expand privacy education programs for the developer community.

It was surprising, however, when the FTC levied the same punishment against Snapchat that others received after committing violations of a far greater scale: twenty years of audits, but no admission of wrongdoing. This cookie cutter solution begs the question: what is the FTC hoping to achieve?

The Commission may not be delivering its intended message. Snapchat’s privacy and security shortcomings don’t measure up to the repeated violations of industry giants. Yet, when the punishment rarely changes and never seems to fit the offense, we are concerned that emerging tech companies will approach FTC enforcement as nothing more than the cost of doing business.